Fitness Training On-demand: Convenience and Value for the Consumer

It’s no surprise that the same technology that brings us family face time and bu

siness meetings from remote locations has entered the world of fitness. We’ve been using exercise apps for years, and personal trainers can book sessions online through a variety of programs. Taking the next step to actually training through cyber-space is the most logical progression.

The virtual gym is a win-win for both trainers and clients; the biggest selling points being convenience and cost effectiveness. For the individual with a busy schedule, it is no longer necessary to make the time to travel to a gym. Young mothers can even meet their trainer while their babies are down for a nap. Per-session costs are usually less than the standard one-on-one charge, and no gym membership is required. In addition, most exercise modalities are offered, including yoga, Pilates, and even group classes. Online training is often considered a significant improvement over video workouts, because the instructor is live and can personalize your routine as you go.

There is a growing marketplace for virtual training, sometimes called “Skyper-cize.” Consumers can access workouts via YouTube, Google+, or any video conferencing application such as FaceTime. Companies like Gymgo, Virtufit, and Premier Fitness offer pre-vetted trainers and special packages to those who are looking to try an online trainer but don’t know where to start. The wide selection of trainers available online provides a greater range of choices and available times. Many private trainers also are adding online training to their business practices. Online training allows business to be dictated by fitness rather than the other way around.

Of course, nothing is perfect, and for all its value there are still drawbacks to virtual training. Attention to detail will lessen in comparison to a face-to-face session, and a certain level of user ability is desired and often assumed. For instance, beginning exercisers and persons with balance issues or in rehabilitation from an injury would likely not be good candidates for virtual training. Clients also need to be aware of false promises! Be sure that the trainer is truly qualified; look for trainers with a certification from an accredited organization. Find out specifically what you will be getting for your money, and request a virtual interview before making a purchase.

Virtual training is certainly the wave of the future, from group classes to one-on-one coaching and exercise, and like any new direction there are great benefits and some risks. Be open to the possibilities for your health and wellness while being mindful of potential hazards.

American College of Sports Medicine